An old friend who is a retired Army officer and father of three girls once told me “I have a wife, three daughters and two female dogs at home. But, I always get the last word at my house, as long as it is ‘yes ma’am!’”
Now, that could be a sign that the grizzled Army veteran has tired of the battle and succumbed to the overwhelming majority at home. Or, as my female friends would quickly state, he has simply seen the light! My guess is, it is probably a little of both.
In our last blog on this site, we made it clear that we feel the time is right for women to step up and take a more active role in leadership, both in politics and in the corporate world.
Since then, General Motors has placed a woman at the helm of that automotive giant, bringing the subject of the “glass ceiling” to the forefront once again. Is the corporate world finally “seeing the light” when it comes to the capability of women to lead giant multi-national corporate entities? Will women be able to command the respect and attention needed to lead? And, that other question that hangs over every debate of this subject… Must a woman be mean, tough, harsh, and a flat out “b” word in order to succeed?
Now, my expertise on women comes mostly from the fact that I’ve been married to one for nearly 44 years. I’m also the father of a woman and more recently, I have become completely smitten with a little black four-legged female canine. These facts speak volumes when it comes to my qualifications.
Emboldened by this experience, I will state unequivocally that there is no doubt women are better equipped to lead than men. Some facts make this very obvious. For example, women make up the majority of our population and far more women than men are graduating from our colleges and universities.
But there are other reasons why women make better leaders, not the least of which is the natural reason that may cause some women to “cringe”. That big reason is the maternal instincts of a mother. Why do you suppose we commonly use the term “mother earth”? It is because the earth is the source of living things, the giver of life. The earth could not possibly be male!
Sure, we men have to participate and, as fathers, we have historically been expected to be the providers and protectors. But many men in today’s society have shrunken from that role and that responsibility. This is not something we men should be proud about. But it is a fact.
Women today have found themselves cast in a complex role, not only in the family environment but in the world of business and politics. The term “single working mother” is a pretty standard term today. And just as common is the “married working mother”. Women today have become incredible managers. They are clearly better multi-taskers than men. They have become just as adept as men when working under pressure against deadlines and in stressful situations.
But most importantly, due to their unique role in the scheme of modern life, women have the ability to see complex issues from many angles. They have developed problem solving skills that are necessary in today’s complicated world, making them better leaders.
Yet, women still lag in areas of leadership. Why is it that we have fewer women elected officials, fewer women middle managers, and fewer women corporate executives?
Some say it is because women are too passive, too willing to accept lower salaries and not willing to fight the fight for equal pay and equal opportunities. This may be true.
It is time for women to step up. It is time for them to see themselves as every bit equal to men. It is time for women to lead. How can women do all of this, you ask?
Hey, I’m a man. I don’t even know why we were put in charge in the first place. I know you ladies will figure it out. Yes ma’am.